No Such Thing as Too Much Information

The adventures of Diddy, dispatches from Anderson Cooper, a real-time account of Erykah Badu’s childbirth and other useless information you can learn on Twitter.

Getty Images
Getty Images

These days, everyone from rappers to senators have a Twitter profile. Even dead celebrities have made their way to Twitter. I’m not entirely sure how 2Pac or Aaliyah discovered the site from beyond, but I’m happy to read about them. At least impersonating users like notbillclinton are more upfront.

Twitter is, of course, the microblogging service that allows users to send and read “tweets”—posts of up to 140 characters. Tweets are found on the user’s profile page and delivered to users who “follow them” by signing up to receive updates.

Besides being the next frontier in online procrastination, what is the point of Twitter?

Who knows? And honestly, if I thought about that for too long it would get in the way of my Twittering. 

Twitter is a welcome refuge from all of the social networking sites that have become as relevant as a TLC cassette single. Nowadays if I view too many MySpace profiles, I feel compelled to spray my screen with disinfectant. And it seems that every branch of my family tree has found me on Facebook.

Some have branded Twitter as yet another way for narcissistic people to rant about themselves. Others look to it as merely another easy way to connect with people. Both are true. Self-indulgent people will seek out any outlet that gives them a public forum to talk about themselves. If those sorts of people bother you, definitely don’t follow Diddy.

But if you can get past the narcissism, you may just find yourself learning interesting news about the mogul, like his penchant for exclamation points and the phrase “Let’s go people!” In fact you can find out things you never thought you’d know—or care about—from lots of stars. Follow Erykah Badu, and you can find out how she reacts to wackos—she recently updated her followers about a stalker who had just been arrested in front of her house.

Ms. Badu and Jay Electronica also gave a blow-by-blow account of the birth of their new child, including how many centimeters the singer was dilated. Where else can you get that type of scoop, straight from the source in 140 characters or less?

To those looking for an educational balance to the site, fret not, you can also follow Anderson Cooper, the BBC and other leading news outlets. The home team, The Root, has even joined the fray.